The Nature Institute’s education staff develops lively, nature-themed curricula with Illinois and Missouri Learning Standards in mind. TNI field trips are designed to welcome students from public, private and home schools; scout groups, church and university groups; and hobbyists and naturalists of all ages! Workshops are periodically available for teachers to provide Continuing Professional Development Units.
Offering year-round opportunities for children, adults and families to connect with nature. The facility introduces the habitats, flora and fauna of Illinois. Surrounding woodlands, wetlands and prairies serve as living outdoor classrooms for exploration and discovery. Whether our staff comes to you or your students come on site, TNI’s education team will help expand understanding and appreciation of the natural world and foster scientific capability using innovative teaching tools and techniques. Students learn with live animals, mounted specimens, monitoring equipment and other hands-on learning. All programs include specific academic activities that meet Illinois state standards and national environmental education standards.
2 hours – $3.00 per student | Over 2 hours – $4.00 per student | No cost for adults
The Nature Institute (TNI) has worked to bring a natural outdoor classroom for those that attend field trips, homeschool groups, or simply come out to hike. This classroom, named “Discovery Woods”, was installed in 2015 with a natural play area featuring Decomposer Grove, Fossil Dig, Burrow, Geology Garden in memory of Judy Hoffman, and more.
Utilizing the non-native Osage orange trees found on our preserve and recycled materials for the construction, these new additions were created to showcase team building, discovery, and imaginative play all with natural, sustainable products.
In 2017, Nature Explore, a collaboration between Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, officially authenticated the “Discovery Woods” as a certified “Nature Explore Classroom”.
With over 30 years of experience in environmental education, TNI has perfected different programs in their curriculum. Here are some example programs organizers can choose from:
On Site Field Trip
In School Outreach
Step 1: Review the calendar below for available dates. Choose your top three times for availability.
Step 2: Fill out the form below the calendar and our education staff will get back to you with a full confirmation
Need funding assistance? Check out available Illinois Biodiversity Grants through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.